By Meg Cooper
Marketing during a pandemic is new territory for most of us. Are you having a hard time connecting to your customers? Not sure your messaging is hitting your target market? How do you get new customers? Navigating marketing during a pandemic can feel tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Below I’ve outlined several ways to make sure your company is still getting out a strong, positive message to your customers while staying on brand and reinforcing your mission as a company.
Know Your Customer
As with all messaging in your marketing, knowing your customer is the golden ticket to creating messaging that resonates. So, during the COVID-19 pandemic, what are their pain points? Are they a corporation or an individual consumer? Is it a concern for spreading the virus? Do you sell cleaning products? If so, tell them why your cleaning products can help alleviate some of the everyday stressors. Are you selling home improvement products such as paint and paintbrushes? How can they use your product to turn working from home into a more productive, inspiring place? Are you selling industrial machinery? Maybe your customers can’t keep up with supply and demand so your machine will help make their production line more efficient and help them meet their deadlines in a timely manner. Whatever product you have, think of the solution you’re solving for your customer right now. Not what your customers’ pain points were before the coronavirus pandemic began but what they are now, and address them in a way that brings you closer to them on a human level.
Transparency Makes You More Approachable
As a company, transparency is a great way to create a more loyal following with your customer base. We’re all going through this together, so make sure your customers know what you’re doing as a company to help others sur-thrive as well as what you’re doing for your community. Are you volunteering more time to local nonprofits? Are you donating materials for PPE? You could make a simple video montage thanking those on the frontlines, and even acknowledging the hard work your employees are doing can go a long way in resonating with your customers.
Incentivize Your Customers With a Percentage Giveback Purchase
If you’re able to partake in this financially, this is a great way to really connect with your customers who may be looking for ways to support their communities during tough times. Can you give to a charity that will help with remote schooling costs? Can you donate a portion of your proceeds for a certain product to a charity to help provide PPE to frontline workers?
Be Available and Accessible
Are your customers having a hard time getting their questions answered or getting through with customer service? Try using live Q&A functions on your social media to reach those who might be stuck at home. You could also open up online chat support for more reliability and instant access. Be there for your customers during their pain points when they happen immediately as that shows dedication and accessibility when they could just as easily go to their competitors. You want to keep their business, so invest in places where their attention will be and the benefits of connecting with them will go far.
Remember To Be Real
We are all going through this together. Making sure that your messages are human-centric and focused on what your customers are going through (possible layoffs, schooling issues, frontline workers, etc.) can make your messages last longer and go farther in strained times like these. The more honest you can be as a company when it comes to your mission and caring for your community, the more loyal and engaged your customers will be.
If you can’t achieve all of these strategies, pick one that resonates most with your current mission and execute it 100 percent. Be amazing at answering your customer service inquiries and problems and lock in those loyal customers. Or, have a giveback purchase that is extremely hard for your customers to say no to because it also benefits your community. Times are tough and making sure your customers know you are adaptable is one sure-fire way to stay in the game and even increase your customer support.
Meg Cooper is a digital marketing specialist, founder and CEO of Oh Hello Digital Marketing, a small digital marketing company based out of Durango, Colo. She’s a graduate of Fort Lewis College with broad experience in brand and reputation management, social media marketing, advertising and digital marketing.